Video games are a wonderful thing: they're a way for us to escape the mundane trappings of reality by becoming someone else, often a more exciting version of ourselves enhanced by magic or superpowers, or by transporting us to exhilarating new worlds that transcend the boundaries of modern science. But it's not just the worlds we travel to, or the adventures we have there that make our beloved hobby so special, but also the characters we encounter on our travels. In the next few weeks (or over the past couple of weeks for our American friends), the current console cycle will come to an end and a new generation of gaming will be ushered in. While I'm ready for the exciting new prospects that the new generation has in store for us, it is with great fondness that we'll look back at our most recent generation, but what a generation it's been. The games from the most recent incarnation of consoles have been some of the best we've ever played. They've not only been technically impressive, but many of the stories and the characters that have been introduced (or resurrected in some cases) will stick with me for many years to come. Records were broken by the likes of Grand Theft Auto V, hearts were broken by The Last of Us and Gears of War (when Dom had to shoot his beloved Maria? Come on guys...) and some of our existing favourites like Lara Croft and Batman experienced a breath of fresh air that has revolutionised the way we view these characters. It's certainly been a hell of a ride and the characters we've journeyed with have played a huge part in those experiences. PS4, Xbox One, no pressure, but it'll be difficult to top the last 7-8 years. So without further adieu and in no particular order, here are 15 of the greatest heroes from the last generation of gaming.